Posted: May 24, 2011
The common mistake most gardeners make in caring for their lawn is mowing too short. The grass blades are the "solar factory" that provide energy for the roots to grow. Mowing your lawn too short deprives it of needed energy and prevents its roots from becoming established deep in the soil. Never cut more than one third of the grass blade at one time. Leave the clippings on the lawn to recycle nutrients (especially nitrogen). Keep your blades sharp for an even and consistent lawn cut. In addition to a productive soil, all lawns can benefit from periodic aeration (prior to feeding) and the addition of good organic compost or planting mix. Hopefully you compost so you can add your own or have a source to obtain healthy compost. You can set your mower as high as it will go; probably 3 to 4 inches during growing season, and lower it as the temperatures cool off in fall. Water only when your grass shows signs of drought stress and then water deeply, at least an inch of water. You want to make things favorable for the grass and unfavorable for the weeds so that grass will choke out the weeds. Naturally! There is competition for sunlight. If the grass does not shade the weed, the weed will shade the grass. Sunlight is energy. Grass will shade the weeds only if it is tall enough. So by keeping your grass higher and receiving the suns energy it will help keep the weeds from growing. Enjoy the upcoming gardening season and let’s hope for ample rain and lots of sunlight.